Archive for February, 2009

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Finding Out Someone Else Has A Punch In The Face-Themed Blog — Punch In the Face

February 27, 2009

Well, this lasted long.  5 days, 2 posts and 1 killer old school rap  01-punch-in-the-face3, and I get a stark Punch In the Face:  Apparently, someone else already has a Punch In the Face-themed blog (on another blog site).  Look, I get it.  It’s the Internet and no idea is completely original.  And no, the themes aren’t exactly the same — my life is a Punch In The Face, and this blogger’s listing people she wants to punch in the face.  You see?  Clearly the two blogs theme-atically distinct.  But still, I kept holding out hope that my Mommy was telling me the truth:  that I really am special.  This latest revelation is evidence that, so far, no dice on the “special me” front. 

So, where do I go from here?  Do I just fold down my laptop and limp off the blog battleground with my head down?   You wish.  You wish I’d leave my legions of fans:  the fourth graders bumping the Punch In the Face mp3 on their iPod’s as they prepare for a grueling day of pop quizes and frustratingly small juice boxes; the salesman ordering a white-on-black Punch In The Face t-shirt from my members-only fan site; and the 5th-year lawyer at the white-shoe law firm whose only respite from the endless stream of billing his time in 6-minute increments is when he stuffs a print out of today’s PITF blog in his $200 trousers and sprints off to the bathroom for a daily dose of the Gospel According to C-ROC . . . 

That’s it.  I can’t just leave my millions of dedicated disciples.  I can’t leave you to fend for yourselves in this cruel, cruel world.  You’re very fragile.  You’re barely hanging on to the pathetic existence that you refer to as a “life.”  Need proof?  You’re reading this.  Wait . . . come back, I was kidding. 

As I thought long and hard about whether I should just throw in the blog towel today, I took an item out of my fan mail.  It was a letter — brown and tattered, and it had been folded over eight times.  I carefully unfolded the letter like an ancient treasure map.  Even though I’ve read this note before dozens of times — hundreds of times maybe — I have to see it, feel it, on days like this where my personal foundation has been shaken to the core.  The letter is from Alejandro, a 9 year-old boy from Acapulco (“Alejandro from Acapuloc”, isn’t that adorable?) , a place I haven’t been in about a decade.  The note — written in such simplistic Spanish it makes me blush — has only 4 precious words: “Tu Eres Mi Papi.”  Powerful.  Even as I type this, a tear is gently rolling down my cheek.   Wait.  You don’t get it?  How can you not get it?  Don’t you see? I’m this kid’s hero — I’m Alejandro’s personal David Ortiz

Well, Tu Eres Mi David Oritz, Alejandro.  Tu Eres Mi David Ortiz.

I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow.

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Granite Counter-tops — Punch In The Face

February 22, 2009

Granite counter-tops. The ultimate symbol of GEN X’s obsession with materialism and our need to look good even if we don’t feel good.  Hey, I got ’em, and they make me feel great.  That’s right:  they look good and they treat me even better.  They shine and wink at me when I walk by.  They tuck me into bed at night.  They tell me all sorts of crazy stories about the time they spent in Central America.  But, secretly, I hate them because I need them:

ME:  I can’t be a selfish, soulless loser.  I’ve got granite in my kitchen, dammit.   

GRANITE COUNTER-TOPS [gleaming in the sunlight]:  You got that straight, brotha. 

Don’t get me wrong — I’d love to be able to blame our collective  obsession with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and wide-plank hardwood floors on Flip This House, Flip That House, Flip Their Houses, Flip Run’s House, etc.  But I can’t.  I can only blame the obsession on our over-inflated ego’s and collective sense of entitlement.  Need proof?  Watch any of the shows mentioned above (I’m not sure when Flip Run’s House actually airs . . . I think sometime after Making the Band and before Brett Michaels Picks A Skank — check your local listings for exact dates and times) or their progeny:  Moving Up, Property Virgins, House Hunters, House Hunters Int’l, etc., and you’ll invariably see the following scene:

NARRATOR:  Chelsea is a 31 year-old social worker and her boyfriend Brandon sells sunglasses at a kiosk in the mall.  They’ve been searching for the perfect home for them to share and their tastes are very specific:  Brandon needs a 1,500 square foot theater room. . .

BRANDON:  I need some space where me and my boys can chill.

NARRATOR:  . . . and Chelsea requires a chef’s kitchen with glowing granite countertops, heated floors, oak cabinetry, and two chef’s ovens . . .

CHELSEA:  I’d really like to get into cooking someday.

NARRATOR:  . . . but, so far, they are very disappointed in the properties that are in their price range.  Let’s see how they react when they visit this modest 2-bedroom ranch in their price range.

[CHELSEA AND BRANDON ENTER THE KITCHEN, SEE WHITE APPLIANCES, FORMICA COUNTER-TOPS AND LINOULEUM FLOORING, AND IMMEDIATELY BEGIN TO VOMIT]

Well, we can’t blame Chels and Brandon for having high standards, can we?  After all, their collective income is just above the poverty level, so they deserve to live like a cross between Russell Simmons (before he split up with Kimora) and Martha Stewart, right?  Not quite.  Before jumping on the Chels and Brandon rationalization train, think about this: what did our parents do when they were faced with the same situation (i.e., buying a starter home within their budget)?  They bought it, moved in, got out the Fantastik spray, cleaned off the older counter-tops and — gasp — put their stuff down on it.  That’s right — they lived with it. So, when you’re applying for a $50,000 home equity line of credit to update your kitchen, ask the age-old question Gen X never seems to ask ourselves:  Do I really need it?

Answer that question for yourselves, kids.  And, as always, do as I say, not as I do — I gotta get back to wiping down my beautiful granite counter-tops.  In fact, as I look at my reflection in the granite right now, I can hear them saying something to me. 

ME [leaning over the granite, listening — searching — for the wise message]:  What?  What are you saying to me?

COUNTER-TOPS [To me, in a loving hush]:  You’re a winner.

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A Punch In the Face: The Gen X’ers Guide to Being 35

February 22, 2009

Here is an MP3 of the instant classic “Punch In the Face”, an old school rap I wrote and recorded at Legacy Funk studios in New York.

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“Punch In the Face” — or “PITF” –, chronicles my personal frustrations with growing up and — let’s face it — growing old(er). If a prophet (like, for example, the bum muttering to himself at the bus station) tapped me on the shoulder in 1995 and told me that, in the ’09, I’d be working myself way too hard, living in a house I can’t really afford, and having absolutely no time for exercise, art and creativity, I’d have laughed in his face and gone back to ironing my flannel shirt. But now, here I am: doing everything I can to afford granite countertops and 18″ rims — the items that, for me, act as a false security blanket when I question my personal success.

A few tidbits about the tune:

1)  The first voice you hear is my 12 year-old nephew asking me: “Unkie C-Roc, what’s it like to be grown up?”  The answer: it’s a Punch In The Face. The sooner you kids realize that, the better off we’ll all be.  In addition, PITF is about hope, unrequited love and the American way (well . . . no it isn’t, but I always wanted to write a song that was about all 3 of those things and, since I’ve at least written and recorded this song, I’d like to try to shoehorn its meaning into all three categories. Also, when you stop to think about it, aren’t all songs really about hope, unrequited love and the American way?).

2) Heating with propane IS a Punch In The Face . . . $$$$

3) Muamar Qadafi is also a Punch In The Face.  The Libyan Dictator is about to make a comeback — I can just feel it.

4) The song is best listened to bumpin’ in your car . . . so, by all means, download it/ burn it — and bump it proud.

5) Enjoy. And, even if you don’t enjoy, lavish me with false praise – my ego is so big, I won’t be able to tell the difference between legitimate praise and sarcasm.

One final note: Please, no “Boy, you have too much time on your hands” comments. Frankly, I don’t have much time at all. But, when the sweet lil’ Baby Jesus whispered this tune in my ear, I had to write it down, record it, and send it out to the masses – starting with you.

Take Care,

Chris (aka Unkie C-Roc; the JV All Star)